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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Did I do the 'right' thing (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

drosenbe0813
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Long Island, NY
405 Posts

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May 3rd is one of the busiest (and most profitable) days of the year for me. It is a big Communion day and I charge premium prices and count on at least 4 shows. I always take deposits.

I was totally booked about 45 days in advance, but then about 30 days before, I get an email that one of my shows needs to cancel, due to a potential surgery. I inform the client that I will do my best to book another gig and return her deposit.

I didn't get another bite until last thursday (4/24) when someone booked for that time slot, BUT, his brother was going to pay the deposit. I said fine, and called on Friday to remind him about the deposit. The weekend passed and no word from the brother nor him. In the meantime, I get another request for that date and time. On Sunday Night, I email the first client informing him that if I don't hear from him by end of business on Monday, that I will have to take another show. I also left a couple of messages with him on Monday. Monday night came, and no word, so I booked another client, who paid me in full!

Well, Tuesday morning comes, and the brother calls to give the deposit. I inform him that I had to give the show away. Then the client calls and is all upset. He 'says' that he had the wrong phone number in his cell phone (my correct phone number is on all of my correspondence), and didn't realize it. he also said that I didn't email him until Monday. I'm pretty sure that its just that he didn't read it until monday..but he still didn't call until tuesday.

Should I be upset with myself for giving the show away? I feel that I gave the first client all the chances to confirm that he wanted me, but I've been burned too many times with people assuming that if they don't get back to me, that I'll assume that they don't want me.

What do you guys (and gals) think?
Mindpro
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Eternal Order
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No you shouldn't be upset for giving the show away.

There are several important things at play here:

First, you are lucky to get not only one but two last minute inquiries within ten days of the event. Good for you. Many would have ended up getting none and losing the availability.

Secondly, a date is not reserved or confirmed until a non-refundable deposit is received and the contract signed and returned - period night to pay the deposit and failed to. Not your fault - period.

Thirdly and perhaps most importantly, - you are a business, this is a business transaction. We as entertainers must do whatever possible whenever possible to present the perception of professionalism as a business. We are not just good-time people who entertain, we do this for a living, as a business, regardless of part-time or full-time, and it must be taken just as seriously as any other business or profession. Truth of the matter is he never had the date or booking to lose. He never paid the deposit to confirm the date - period.

As far as I'm concerned you really didn't even owe him an e-mail, phone calls or anything. When the brother never called, you continued on with business as you should. It's when performers create these grey areas, do not stand by their professional policies, do not have policies, and handle things casually, informally or unprofessionally that hurts us all and creates these types of problems, while contributing to not being taken seriously as legitimate businesses.

You should not have anything to feel bad about in any way.
Mindpro
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Another thought...You may also be a part of the problem here as well in that you said "I've been burned too many times with people assuming that if they don't get back to me, that I'll assume that they don't want me." This may be about you, how you present this to the potential customer, and if you properly state and position your policies and regard to such occurrence. Have a system in place both online and in your phone consultations that clearly state your date and time is not reserved until your signed agreement and deposit has been received. And/or n date(s) will be held without a deposit, dates will only be held for 24 hours without a deposit and/or sign conformation agreement (contract), etc.

If this happens more than a couple or times or even semi-regulary it could be due to how you establish this to the customer.
Dynamike
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My method is telling the prospect I will hold the spot for 48 hours. I mention it will be approved when the deposit is received. I give more time than 24 hours in case it is mailed.
drosenbe0813
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Elite user
Long Island, NY
405 Posts

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Thanks for the feedback. I have to admit that since I take a deposit on the phone now for 90% of my shows, that I probably am out of practice in handling deposits. I will be updating my schpiel and my booking correspondence with a 48 hour clause.

Thanks for the responses.

David
Dannydoyle
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It is your business... you run it how you see fit so "right" does not enter into it.

That being said when it is something like a deposit, or a show cancelation notice I would always handle this on the phone. MANY people do not read their email quite as regularly as others. It is absolutely NOT a dependable form of communication and somethign as important as canceling the date when his brother is handling the deposit and all should absolutely be done by the phone.

Did you do anything "wrong"? Oh heck no!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Donald Dunphy
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Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7409 Posts

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Another thought to toss out there.

If the event date is more than 2 months away, then you could give them 48 hours to give the deposit.

But if the event date is less than 2 months away, then you could give them only 24 hours to give the deposit.

Simply because the demand for a certain date could increase the closer that you get to it.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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